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A snapshot of Guam before US-North Korea conflict and now

A snapshot of Guam before US-North Korea conflict and now

Kim Jong Un's regime is threatening to fire a missile to land near Guam, the American territory in the Pacific Ocean that is home to two huge US military bases, by the middle of this month. North Korea has reacted with threats of its own, warning that it might launch a missile strike toward the Pacific island of Guam, which is a USA territory and home to a strategic U.S. base, as early as this month, and adding that it was capable of starting a nuclear war that might reach the continental United States.

North Korea's estimated splashdown of the missiles would place them just outside Guam's 12 nautical mile territorial waters, but well within its 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone - waters where locals fish for tuna and blue marlin.

Guam Governor Eddie Calvo said the remote Pacific island was accustomed to being a target ever since Washington placed military installations there.

There are two major bases on Guam: Andersen Air Force Base in the north and Naval Base Guam in the south.

The possibility of a nuclear confrontation is considered remote. In the latest development, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, said in a statement carried by state media that his country was "about to take" military action near Guam.

The U.S. territory in the western Pacific Ocean is home to 7,000 American military personnel, strategic bombers and Navy ships within striking range of Pacific hot spots, including the Korean Peninsula.

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The U.S. seized Guam from Spain in 1898 to provide a fueling station for the U.S. fleet in the western Pacific. In World War II, Guam was seized by the Japanese shortly after the Pearl Harbor attacks and won back by the U.S.in 1944. They threatened US, other countries, and they threaten Guam.

That prompted a defiant Pyongyang to threaten a missile attack on Guam, a tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific that is home to major U.S. air and naval facilities. "It's a propaganda, that's how I feel", he said but added that the military offered an extra reassurance.

Citizens of self-governing Guam are USA citizens, although they can't vote for president. The 163,000 residents that make up Guam's population, which includes 6,000 USA service members, are considered US citizens.

Earlier this year, NATO Military Committee Chair, General Petr Pavel, said he had the "utmost respect" for Australian forces and the country is a "highly valued, reliable and respected partner". "And not a lot of Americans know that". It has seen various popular movements pushing for greater self-government or even USA statehood, most notably a significant but failed effort in the 1980s to make it a commonwealth on par with Puerto Rico.

US forces on the island were not immediately available for comment. It is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) southeast of North Korea, much closer than it is to any of the United States.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet now has six Aegis ballistic missile defense ships in the region capable of targeting North Korean missiles, and Japan has a further four.


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